Friday, May 25, 2018


I covered the West Montrose System last Saturday. Today will be the Conestogo and Maryhill Systems. Heidelburg is shared between Woolwich and Wellesley (Region of Waterloo). Heidelburg has surprised me for years that despite the major groundwater contamination and ongoing remediation at their downtown corner (former Mayor Strauss gas station); their drinking wells seem to be unaffected. I expect Mr. Strauss that that is much more good luck than good management on your part.

Both systems in Conestogo, the Golf Course System and the Conestogo Plains System seem clear of any problems according to the reports.
That is odd given the small Grand River influence on one of the Golf Course wells. I would have expected to see more bacteria in the raw water. Also I'm pleasantly surprised by the lack of bacteria in the Conestoga Plains wells based upon the conglomeration of septic systems all around the wells. Again perhaps better good luck than good management. Kudos to the Wellesley Township Reports as they actually have the quarterly readings of both Haloacetic Acids (HAA) and Trihalomethanes (THM) included. This is unlike Cambridge and Woolwich townships who make you go looking for them when they should be included directly in the region's Annual Reports.

What also seems odd is that the Conestoga Systems (presumably both?) are going to be replaced by the incoming pipeline from St. Jacobs and Waterloo bringing water up from the Integrated Urban System (IUS) used throughout Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. While the raw water problems in West Montrose certainly demand a replacement source and it is the same pipeline then being extended over to West Montrose; it is peculiar that Conestogo allegedly has such good water yet it's also being replaced. I have to wonder if this is the Region being the Region. Once found to be liars and deceivers it's a long road back. They out and out lied publicly about the Kitchener river wells K70 & K71 along the Grand River, downgradient from the Breslube (now Safety-Kleen) site in Breslau. Those wells were closed and it wasn't due to the strongest bacteria in history it was due to leakage from subsurface oils and petroleum sludges between the factory and the Grand River.

The Maryhill two water systems are generally quite acceptable in quality. There have been past problems with bacteria but they seem better in this report. Unfortunately chloramines, a disinfectant by-product are a little on the high side in the one system. They aren't above the maximum criteria of 3 mg/litre but they do rate attention and are singled out because they exceed 1/2 the criteria for inorganic compounds. It is understandable based upon past bacteria issues in the raw water that they are shading the treatment a little on the heavy side with this chlorine compound.

The following comment is not specific to the Woolwich water systems. All these reports from the Region of Waterloo lack the exact Ontario Drinking Water Standards (ODWS) with each chemical tested in the treated water. They have a simple YES/NO to indicate if that standard has been exceeded. This is unacceptable as residents do not know how close the chemical comes to exceeding the criteria plus they also do not know if the Method detection Limit (MDL) provided is reasonable or not in regards to the drinking water standard. My comments and criticisms over the years to both the Region and Woolwich have provided for some improvements in these Reports. Well done but more still needs to be done for these Reports to serve residents better.

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